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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

UB's top 5 Christmas Specials: Best of the Rest

You may have noticed the collection of classic Christmas specials that are making the rounds on TV the past few weeks, and your Uncle Buck is running out of TiVo space...Since UB assumes that you too have been unable to enjoy all the specials that have come and gone over the years, UB is going to release his list of the top 5 Christmas specials of all time...but first here is a look at some of the specials (not all, there are 100s of crappy Christmas specials that UB has never seen) that just didn't make the cut...for one reason or another...

The Muppets hang with John Denver:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: We Wish you a Turtle Christmas:

A Flintstone Famliy Christmas:

The Little Drummer Boy: (One too many Rudolph-style knock-offs)

Claymation Christmas: Featuring the California Raisins:

Your Uncle Buck recalls this being a fun claymation special, hosted by some dinosaurs...

Above was the segment featuring bells playing classical Christmas tunes, which was fun...it all was fun, until they got serious with "The California Raisins". Are you kidding UB? Music about the birth of Jesus from clay raisins that were originally hired to help grape farmers...(UB also recalls they only did the one segment and were introduced, like they had agents and it was really hard to book them for this special...IT'S A DAMN CLAY CARTOON SHOW!)

The Star Wars Holiday Special:

This aired once in 1978, and that was too many times...UB saw portions of it online a few years back and it really has become a cult favorite, mainly because it is so hard to watch. Amazingly all of the original cast, save Alec Guinness and Peter Cushing, appear in this piece of crap. Harrison Ford, who must have fired his agent after the 1st day of shooting, Mark Hamell, who has so much makeup on he looks like a girl, and Carrie Fisher, who looks like she is high in all of her scenes, all made it.

The story centers around Life Day, the answer to Christmas in the galaxy far, far away. Chewbacca returns to his home planet to be with his family and helps them all prepare Life Day. From there the special follows each character through their own preparations including Chewie's son and his father. We also see Imperial Troops about to invade Chewie's planet. Han, Luke and the rest arrive for the Life Day festivities just in time to save the day.

Yes that's Bea Arthur...Don't ask me why she's in this, but she runs some club or something...

Luke, lay off the blush man! You're the damn last hope for the freakin galaxy!

I need some more coke, someone get me some more coke before I start snorting this droid's battery acid...

Han: Oh thank god I found you...can you please shoot me?

Han: Well we saved Life Day...Luke? Is that you?

Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol:

A Very Brady Christmas:

While this was a TV-movie, UB watches it every year like one of the specials...As UB recalls the Bradys all return home for Christmas all with problems that get unloaded over dinner...Greg, Marcia and Jan are married, Cindy is stuck at the kids table and Bobby wants to be a race car driver...Peter gets engaged, but trades up later in life for model Adrianne Curry.

Dude, nice work...

Meanwhile, while time has proven that Marcia is much hotter than Jan, the producers include a semi-sex scene with Jan and her husband...to the prompting of Mrs. Brady!!!

Worth noting Cindy is mysteriously replaced (although they do show her in a flashback) by the much hotter Jennifer Runyon, who UB recognized from her bit part in Ghostbusters..."I swear they're just coming to me..."

For some reason the director had no problem casting a different Brady kid (Cindy) but didn't want to ruin anyone's Christmas by revealing that Sam the butcher was being played by a different actor than the TV show, so they covered his face with a Santa beard in the end...

A Garfield Christmas Special:

Prior to the Garfield cartoon in the late 80s, early 90s, the Garfield specials were the only way to see Garfield on TV. This one starts with Garfield wishing for gifts to the easily downloadable "GIMME, GIMME, GIMME!"

Jon, Garfield and Odie travel to the family farm where we meet Jon's Mom, Dad and brother, whose name is Doc Boy. Who the hell names their child Doc Boy? The most true-to-life scene is when Jon and Doc Boy continually bug the father to see if they can go down stairs and open presents...

Garfield makes Grandma's Christmas by bringing her letters from her dead husband, while Odie makes Garfield a back scratcher...Hey, did Garfield make Odie a gift?

'

Mickey's Christmas Carol:

Prior to the Christmas Carol story we are treated to old shorts of Mickey, Pluto and Chip and Dale meeting after Pluto finds them living in the tree Mickey has cut down...Next is a Donald short where he has a snowball fight with the nephews...


Finally we are introduced to Scrooge McDuck, playing of course Ebenezer Scrooge. The story follows the book pretty close, with Disney cartoon fun thrown in all over...

Mickey plays Bob Cratchit and Donald plays Fred, Scrooge's nephew.

Marley gets a Goofy treatment, including the trade mark yell "WAHOOOOOOOOOO"

The richest Duck in the cemetery...

Cratchit makes partner!! Tiny Tim is saved!!!

Merry Christmas Mr. Bean:

HBO presented this show a few years back, and UB's favorite was always the Christmas episode...so much so that it has be come a holiday tradition to watch Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean with the turkey on his head and his Christmas gift of a pair of socks.

'Twas the Night Before Christmas:

Following a newspaper article that Santa is a myth, he passes on visiting this small town...Which decides to win him back by building a clock tower that plays a special "We Love Santa" song that is supposed to win him back...

Things are going according to plan until a brainy mouse decides to get inside and screw everything up...

Father Mouse: "Kerplunk?!"

Albert Mouse: "Kerplooey!"

In the end the mouse fixes the clock and the ugliest Santa in the history of television comes to town and gives out toys...

Santa Claus is Coming to Town:

Fred Astaire plays the postman in charge of delivering all our letters to Santa and tells the story of Old St. Nick when his truck breaks down. Santa is left on the doorstep of the Kringles, an elfin family of toymakers.

As he grows up, he takes on the job of delivering the Kringles' toys to the children of a nearby town, much to the demise of the grumpy Burgermeister, who outlaws toys.

Santa melts the heart of the magical Winter Warlock by giving him a toy train. UB heard that is what the UN tried to do with Saddam...

In the end the stresses of the job make Santa and the Mrs. old and fat...

Next up: UB's top 5 Christmas Specials #5...

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